How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us… we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most…

—Stephen  Covey


Values are the things we believe in and which we think are important. Each of us has a value system, or a “philosophy of life,” that guides us, although we may not be aware of it. Values are a central component of who we are (identity). This exercise will help you to identify your personal value system. From this foundation, in class we will then develop a deeper appreciation of the role of values and identity in your use of power and influence.


On this sheet, complete the following sentences:

  1. The things I want most to achieve before I die are…
  2. The things I want to achieve this year are…
  3. If I had a million dollars, I would…
  4. What I value most about myself is…
  5. My greatest accomplishment so far is…

Adapted from Harlow, K. (2004). Values in Action: Creating Personal Mission Statements.

  1. The possession I value most is…
  2. My life would become meaningless if I lost…
  3. For each value listed below, write the number that reflects how important each is to you using the scale.

From your responses above:

  1. List the 3 values that are most important to you.
  2. List the 3 values that are least important to you.
  3. How similar or different do you think your value system will be 5 years from now?

Some jobs provide a way to express what we believe, while others challenge or go against certain values. Usually, jobs that support our value system are more interesting and motivating than jobs that conflict with our values.

Identity 2-3 jobs that you couldn’t do because of conflicts with your value system (feel free to add others not listed here). Briefly explain.


A Personal Mission Statement is a complete and concise expression of your innermost values. Writing one takes deep introspection, careful analysis and thoughtful consideration. It should give you a sense of clarity and commitment, exhilaration and freedom. It becomes your personal constitution, the criterion against which you measure everything else in your life.

Have some fun—play with your vision of who you’d like to be, how you see yourself or would like to see yourself, but do be realistic.

Write your personal Mission Statement below

  1. What values and norms characterize Disneyland’s culture?
  2. What behaviors result from these values and norms?
  3. How does Disneyland get employees to behave as they do?
  4. Have you experienced any aspects of the Disneyland approach to managing employees?
  5. What are its strengths and weaknesses?

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